Saturday, June 28, 2008

brownie sundaes for saturday

cookie or brownie sundaes are my ultimate comfort food. i can't seem to eat a cookie or brownie without heating it up and serving it with ice cream and fantastic dessert sauces. these brownies are the culmination of a lifetime of recipe tests. to my palate they are the absolute best. they are super chocolaty and decadent and very fudgey so if you like a lighter cakier brownie these might not be for you. i'm serving these tonight for friends. we are out of homemade ice cream so i'm using my standard favorite, haagen daaz vanilla. i did however make up a new dessert sauce to go with them, white chocolate caramel!!!!! yum!!!! and i'm also doing my standard fave homemade hot fudge too. i call these million dollar brownie cause they aren't cheap to make if you use the good stuff i recommend. i'd say at least $20 a sheet pan but sooooooooo worth it.
here are pics and all the recipes. i'm taking these with me to a friends house but fox was happy to let me make one up for him for a lunch dessert so i could take pics.

for those of you that can eat brownies naked.

sundae style with both sauces

dessert after lunch? um . . .yes!

million dollar fudge brownies

4 sticks unsalted butter
1 pound semisweet chocolate chips or chunks

12 ounces mixed semi sweet, milk and white chocolate chips or chunks (use any mix of semi sweet and any chips you like, peanut butter is really good too)

6 ounces scharfen berger or valhrona unsweetened chocolate (at gourmet stores or whole foods in baking aisle, usually sold in a block) chopped
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (1 cup for batter and 1/4 cup in the chips and nuts)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups diced toasted pecan or walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

Melt together the butter, 1 pound semi sweet chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.

Stir together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 30-45 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not over-bake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.

white chocolate caramel

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups heavy cream warmed in microwave
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6- 8 ounces good quality chopped white chocolate

Mix the water and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Do not stir. Increase the heat to medium and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a warm chestnut brown (about 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer), about 5 to 7 minutes, gently swirling the pan to stir the mixture. Be careful – the mixture is extremely hot! Watch the mixture very carefully at the end, as it will go from caramel to burnt very quickly. Turn off the heat. Stand back to avoid splattering and slowly add the cream and vanilla. Don't worry - the cream will bubble violently and the caramel will solidify.

Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Add chopped white chocolate and continue stirring till melted and combined. Allow to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. It will thicken as it sits.

hot fudge

1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tsp vanilla

Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add all chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.

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